September 2, 2009

Great Sailing Ships

The US Coast Guard Training Ship, Eagle. Below: Eagle details. Photos: August 2008.

Himself: No good jobs to apply for, but he got some beautiful wood cut ready to make some small boxes.

Herself: Helped with the Discovery Shop inventory then worked on the Alaskan album all afternoon. Ate WAY too much at Phil's BBQ, but now I can let that go and begin new thinner and healthier thinking.

Reading: Another Bowen.

Balance: Sharing a bit tonight and making sense.

I bought Otmar Schauffelen's volume, "Great Sailing Ships" at an estate sale, and I was captivated by these beautiful creations he catalogs.

A library reference tells me, "Great sailing ships; an illustrated catalogue and history of 150 extant barks, barkentines, brigs, brigantines, frigates, schooners, and other large sailing vessels built since 1628. Translated by Inge Moore with the co-operation of Barbara Webb. Imprint New York, Praeger [1969]."

Just for a moment today when I was supposed to be doing something else, my interest was piqued. I opened the book, and I tracked down one or two of these marvelous ships. I was appalled at what I found. Although we still have the US Coast Guard Training Ship Eagle, ex Horst Wessel and one of three naval training ships in Hitler's navy, others ships rusted away at their anchorage such as the Bark Kaiulani did in a far corner of the Manila harbor The Wawona, the first ship listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was dismantled in March of this year through lack of funding in Seattle.

Just as I was about to put the volume away for the day, I found the steel Bark S/V Glenlee, ex Islamont, ex Clarastella, ex Galatia and a marvelously hopeful site about her restoration and rerigging. Take a moment. Watch this beautiful ship fall to the verge of dismantlement. Her yards and masts were removed and cut up. She was left to bake in the hot Spanish sun her deck curled and split in the heat. Eventually she was sold by the Spanish, and as a hulk she was towed to the city of her birth on the Clyde. Watch her rise again now as a museum ship. Hopefully someday soon she will join the ranks of the few tall ships that we still have sailing the oceans keeping our past alive in the present.


  1. What wonderful, beautiful photos. Thanks for posting them.

  2. I finally arrived in Madrid and found a house that has been closed for 2 months, oh the amount of cleaning up and food shopping that awaits me!
    But seeing your beautiful tall ship made me dream, I'm the prow on an ancient vessel, this afternoon I'm going back to Africa, my soul between my teeth....


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